“Goukon” is a group blind date for (presumably) single people to meet opposite sex. Most of you are likely to have watched it in Japanese dramas or movies. “Goukon” comes from the words “Godo Konpa” (informal group meeting of opposite sex). It is where 2 or more groups of people organize a party together and both the male and female participants get to know each other. In Japan, how do they organize this kind of event? This time, we will share the “Goukon’s rules” based on actual experience!
Rule 1: “Goukon” Must Have the Same Number of Male and Female Participants!
The basic rule for a goukon is to have the same number of male and female participants. According to A-san who works in Tokyo and joins goukon once a week, “If someone decides not to join on the day, no matter what it takes we will find a replacement to ensure the same number of opposite sex”. Otherwise, there will be at least someone that is not able to find a partner. Generally, a goukon is organized for 3 to 5 pairs of male and female.
Rule 2: Restaurants with Private Rooms!
Usually a restaurant is decided beforehand and then the organizer will share the venues for gathering and goukon in advance. Most of the goukons are held in private rooms. According to A-san, the reason is to avoid the awkward situation where by any chance, a senior or colleague from the same company is sitting at the next seat. Goukon is often held in places where access is convenient such as Shibuya or Shinjuku.
Rule 3: The Flow: Toast→ Self-Introduction→ LINE ID Exchange
Once the drinks arrived, it is customary to have a toast. For self-introduction, either the organizer will introduce each participant, or the participants will take turns to introduce their name, work, and other information. After this section is the chatting session. Participants will talk to the person sitting nearby. The topics are mainly about hometown, workplace, hobby, ways to spend weekends, and other casual topics. During the chat one gets to know whether there is a potential for further development. LINE ID will be exchanged before leaving. In some occasion, the organizer may create a group chat at LINE.
Rule 4: In Most Cases, Male Participants Pay the Bill!
“Sometimes men will pay the bill and even pay for the taxi fares to go home,” said A-san. Normally the estimated payment is 3000~4000 yen for female participants, and 6000~7000 yen for male. Some may share the amount of money in advance before the goukon starts, but in most cases, the organizer will calculate and then collect from the participants.